1. What’s your name and where are you from?
I’m Alicia from Queens, NY
2. How long have you been natural? Why did you decide to begin your natural hair journey? And did you Big Chop or Transition?
I’ve been natural again since 2011 (6 years). I was natural (no relaxer) for most of my life, alternating between pressing my hair or braids, until age 18. My mother didn’t allow me to get a perm and I didn’t really want one, but I also didn’t really know what to do with my hair. As a college student, I was too broke and strapped for time to continue to flat iron my hair only to have it revert right back in the DC humidity. So, I got a relaxer (only three to be exact) before my hair decided that it didn’t agree with that decision and started to break. I transitioned back to natural hair over the next year and a half (early 2011), but didn’t wear my first curly style (a twistout) until the very end of that year. I was in Tanzania and inspired by the energy of being in an all African country and decided that I would take my braids out and try to do something with my hair. I had a hunch that flat twisting my hair and wrapping the ends around themselves (Bantu knots) and letting it out would give me the desired look (I hadn’t heard of twistouts and braidouts yet, it was just intuition). I loved the look and instantly felt the look matched my energy better than straight hair ever did.
3. Who is your hair crush/hair inspiration?
Naptural85 , It’s Really Relle, & LeFrosie. I love naturals who are creative with their styles and who treat their hair styles like art rather than boring routine. I see myself as someone who also gets creative and playful with coming up with different ways to style my hair and so I naturally draw inspiration from others as well.
4. What is your go-to hair style?
Twistouts and crown braids. Twistouts are my go to curl style because they last a long time, get tangled less and are more predictable than a wash and go or rod set. Crown braids are my favorite protective style because they are reliable, more interesting than a bun, and still look decent on hair that is a bit tangled.
5. What is the one product that you cannot live without? Why?
My denman brush. It’s ability to detangle makes my life so much easier and it makes my curls pop. I am able to use a lot of other natural products pretty interchangeably, but so far, none have changed my wash day for the better in the way that the denman has.
6. What advice would you give to a Curlfriend who has just begun her natural hair journey?
Embrace the struggle period. There are days when you will look rough and that’s ok. The natural hair life isn’t always gram worthy. Take the time to be gentle and patient with hair and you’ll see it flourish.
To ladies who are struggling with their professional image and worried that their natural hair will hold them back, I want them to keep pushing forward. There are some company cultures that won’t understand it and will put the pressure on you to change or even hold you back from opportunities because of your hair. You don’t need them and that’s their loss. Go where you’re appreciated for your talent and dedication. The most refreshing thing for me is to be in an office where my hair is not a spectacle or the defining identifier for who I am.
7. How can we connect with you? (Facebook, Twitter, IG, and/or any other social media outlet that you would like to share)
IG: @cubiclesandcurls ; Twitter: @cubiclescurls ; Blog: cubiclesandcurls.com
Through my blog/social media, I aim to feature professional women rocking their curls at work. Send me a picture (selfie, professional, etc) of you either on the job or in work attire, what your occupation is, and the most satisfying part of the work you do OR advice to other professional black woman.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQIwXPlSC08O4bABeSTKZwA
Thank You Alicia!
- If you have additional questions that you would like to ask our CurlFriend, please feel free to share in the comment section.
- Expect to meet our next CurlFriend in January!